By Angela Ukomadu
LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerians seeking a safe outlet for their anger can now get an unusual form of therapy, a “rage room” where they can break glass, smash wardrobes, and destroy electronic devices without any consequences.
Located in the crowded megacity of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, the Shadow Rage Room offers 20-minute sessions for 7,500 naira ($8.93).
Banjoko Babajide James, a co-founder, said the idea for the rage room came from the rising mental health crisis in Nigeria which is “a taboo topic” to discuss openly.
“We want to create a community of like minds, to make people to understand that this thing is real and we are going to try to push it out,” he said.
Patrons are outfitted in protective gear, a baseball bat and a selection of items to break, including glass cups and plates, electronics, and furniture.
The room has been a hit with Lagosians, who have been flocking to release the stress of the country’s soaring cost of living, disputed presidential election, and widespread insecurity.
“I was really angry,” said Nancy Igwe, a customer, after her session. “Living in Lagos, it is terrible, it is frustrating when you see that the prices of everything has increased.”
Anita Christian, another customer, said she came to the rage room after losing a friend.
“I had to come and vent because when you don’t get clarity or closure it is really sad,” she said.
While the room has been well-received, James acknowledges that not everyone understands the concept.
“The perception people get when they encounter the rage room is a place where we are promoting anger,” he said. “We always try to explain that we are not doing that.”
($1 = 839.5400 naira)
(Writing by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Sharon Singleton)